Liverpool In most instances, a football team that only gives up a pair of touchdowns in its opening game of the season like where it stands, at least on that side of the ball.
Solely based on that, Liverpool emerged from Friday night’s battle with Henninger with a good feeling – except for the part of not scoring any points.
Playing on its home turf at LHS Stadium, the Warriors lost, 14-0, to the Black Knights, and do not carry much momentum into its annual ‘Star Wars’ clash with rival Cicero-North Syracuse this Friday night at Bragman Stadium.
Both Liverpool and Henninger entered the game with plenty of motivation, as each had suffered similar fates in 2012, doing well enough in the regular season to earn a home playoff game, but still falling in the opening round – the Warriors to West Genesee, the Black Knights to Fayetteville-Manlius.
Yet even with an experienced hand like Justin Capoto at quarterback, Liverpool found it difficult to get going against a fast, tough Henninger defense.
The Warriors did a good job of containment, too, but had one slip in the first quarter, leading to Black Knights quarterback Keisean Scott throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Romero Collier.
That was the lone score of the first half. Trailing 7-0 at the break, Liverpool saw things get worse when a turnover led to a second Henninger score.
Only this time it was Collier, the point guard on Henninger’s Section III Class AA basketball title team last winter, doing the throwing honors this time, and Scott catching it – a 41-yard play that doubled the Black Knights’ advantage.
In between, Henninger used a power running game to control the clock, as Justin McGann ran 24 times for 131 yards to slowly wear things down before the Black Knights could go to the air.
As for Capoto, he completed 12 of 20 passes, but it only went for 143 yards, and Henninger made sure he didn’t get the big play needed to bring the Warriors back.
And now Liverpool must face a C-NS side far removed from its 1-7 struggles of the last two years. Under first-year head coach Joe Sindoni, the Northstars pushed powerful Baldwinsville to the wire in its season opener, a 34-27 defeat, and could have the makings of a much-improved squad. Liverpool must respect that status if it wants to avoid an 0-2 start.